Shinfield Studios secure £261m for sound stage construction plans near Reading

Law firm Farrer & Co acted on behalf of the studios to secure the debt finance from Cain International 

By Chris Evans 12 Jul 2022

Shinfield Studios secure £261m for sound stage construction plans near Reading
Shinfield Studios, Berkshire.

Shinfield Studios and its law firm Farrer & Co have secured £261m in debt finance from investment firm Cain International to construct the main phase of its 18-stage facility in Berkshire, England.

The new complex situated at the Thames Valley Science Park near Reading already has four temporary stages in place, which are let to major high-end TV, streaming and film companies, including Disney, and work on a further 14 purpose built sound stages is underway.

Covering nearly 1 million square feet of space, the site will also house workshops, offices and facilities for cast and crew, and will use solar panels with a focus on sustainable production. It is expected to create 3,000 new jobs and act as a thriving community hub. 

The finance deal was secured by the commercial property, banking and corporate teams at Farrer & Co, acting on behalf of the studios and involves taking a new 199-year geared lease from The University of Reading, the freehold owner of the wider Thames Valley Science Park site.

The deal constitutes a major piece of international investment into the UK TV and film industry, and the studios themselves are expected to generate between £500-600m of inward investment annually, said Farrer & Co in a statement.

In addition, Farrer & Co acted for Shadowbox Studios (formerly Blackhall Studios) in connection with the UK aspects of private equity firm Silver Lake’s US$500m investment in Shadowbox Studios. Shadowbox Studios, the global builder and operator of soundstages for TV & film productions, of which Shinfield Studios is its UK flagship, plans to use the new funds to develop existing projects in Atlanta, London, and Los Angeles to meet global demand for soundstages from content producers.

Farrer & Co’s real estate partner Mark Gauguier said: “We are delighted to have supported our client in a flagship project that showcases the filmmaking talent and facilities on offer both in the Thames Valley and across the UK, as well as the market’s appetite for participation in the film industry.” 

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